Connect with us

Published

on

Last time, Edgar Delgado found himself stumbling into the resolution of the story of unknown strangers that ended violently, leaving him surrounded by the living dead. This week in the Haunted MTL Original The Dead Life, Dani Kim makes a necessary trip to the makeshift latrine in the camp and hears an interesting proposal from Bob Clark. It’s a rather untidys but important element of zombie survival in this installment.

This is a serialized novel of post-apocalyptic zombie survival. Learn more about the story and setting at the series hub and take advantage of a complete list of installments.

The Dead Life section break for story about the usefulness of an ax

Day 25

The worst part of the morning for just about everyone at the camp was the morning constitutional. Unfortunately, with no running water or indoor plumbing, the bathroom arrangement was a horrid shock to the system and probably the thing Dani hated most about the apocalypse.

Aside from the ravenous cannibalistic corpses, of course.

The setup was simple enough, the survivors had cleared out one of the units, and some shelving and boxes enclosed the entrance, with some shower curtains strung across for some privacy. From there, everyone would do their business in an individual bucket they’d have to empty later through a gap in the fencing at the western end of the lot.

Advertisement

The drawn curtain with a hanging air freshener on display indicated occupied space. Everyone gave one another a wide berth when it came to ‘shit-central’ as Bob had taken to calling it.

Water was rare. Thankfully sanitizer and toilet paper were comparatively less. The group had managed well enough, but soon they would need water. Nobody had bathed in weeks; it had been at least a month since any rain had crossed the sky.

Dani stepped out from shit-central, holding the bucket away from her, glancing around. She hated this. Even worse, however, was the makeshift latrine on the other side of the fence, right next to Bob’s trailer. He’d been kind enough to avert his eyes as she approached with the bucket, as she disappeared behind a pair of shelves he had set up as a privacy marker.

She drained the bucket down a pipe that had been placed into the caustic pit. As the shame sluiced through the pipe with an audible plop, she gazed across the street. Thankfully, the lone ghoul hadn’t seemed to notice her. She watched it stumble aimlessly across the road.

“The pool chemicals have helped out quite a bit, keeping the rankness down,” he said as she stepped out, bucket lighter but no less traumatizing. “I wish we could have dug a bigger latrine, though,” he added.

Advertisement

Dani placed her bucket on the ground behind the shelf and glanced at the old man.

“Doesn’t the smell get to you?”

“It beats the dead.”

He had a point.

“Tell you what, though, there is a reason I don’t open the back window of the trailer.”

Advertisement

Bob’s trailer, the one he lived in as the “security” of the storage business, illegally, had been parked against the metal-barred fence to shore up a portion of it. He hadn’t objected to the designation of the latrine next to him.

Hell, he helped dig the thing over the course of a day, dodging ghouls and taking shifts with Dani, Jimmy, and Edgar.

“Danielle. You got nothin’ to worry about. I don’t mind being here at this spot. It’s where all my books are.” Dani glanced at the bookshelves he had erected for a privacy wall, and sure enough, he seemed to have added to his library, somehow. The shelves rested comfortably beneath the pop-up he designated as a library. 

He rose from a salvaged recliner.

“Truth be told, I have an idea and could use some help with this situation…” 

Advertisement

Dani reflexively nudged the bucket further back with her foot as he approached.

Bob put his hands on his hips and stared at his feet, a frequent gesture he made when working toward something. Generally, his instincts were good, and she was already intrigued.

“I didn’t find a shed or nothin’ in any of these units. I know it was a long shot, but I had hoped maybe some taxman or something had bought on and never assembled it. If I had a shed, I could rig us up an actual head.”

“Head?”

Bob laughed.

Advertisement

“Sorry, old habits. Bathroom. I could rig us up a bathroom that can work with that latrine, especially if we dig it further and get some more of those pool chemicals.”

“No more shit-central?”

“Baby girl, we’re talkin’ shit-palace.”

Dani and Bob laughed a bit at this.

“If you can get me something from the Hardware Depot down the road… one of those sheds, I can repurpose that toilet we found last week, the one that was still boxed up.”

Advertisement

Bob paused and coughed a bit. It was deep and rattling, less of a sign of imminent danger and more of his general age.

“Excuse me. I’d also need some pipes and all the plastic bins we can get a hold of, but… well… I think everyone would feel a hell of a lot better, and once the rains kick in, I think we could be doing pretty well for ourselves.”

Dani nodded.

“That sounds doable. We’ll see when Edgar gets back about arranging a trip down the road.”

“Edgar is still out?”

Advertisement

“Yeah, scouting that place across the street.”

The sound of gunfire that followed made them jerk their head toward the sound. It was across the street where Edgar had been scouting.

“Sounds like he might have found somethin’, Danielle.”

The Dead Life section break for story about the usefulness of an ax

Did you enjoy this installment of the story? How do you think the system they opt for regarding supplies will work out for them? Let us know what you think and what supplies would be your zombie apocalypse necessity.

The Dead Life is a Haunted MTL original fiction series.

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Original Creations

Goblins, a Short Story by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

Revisiting the creepy faux fingernail art, I made a couple of goblins… They then ransacked my house. This is their story, as told by myself, Jennifer Weigel.

More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel, featuring wide smiling mouth with red sparkly lipstick and faux fingernail teeth on textured green goblins background
More faux fingernail art from Jennifer Weigel

So it finally happened. My art came to life. And of course it couldn’t be one of the cute pretty pictures, like the sparkly unicorns or the cat drawings. No it had to be the faux fingernail goblins… Ugh. I first encountered them in the bathroom.

I see England.
I see France.
I see someone’s underpants!

Of course you do, it’s the bathroom. That’s totally the room for that. Remind me again why I decided to paint these little green monsters. Ugh. From there, they moved on to the kitchen.

We so tricksy.
We so sly.
We eats all the cherry pie!

Advertisement

Did they have to eat ALL the cherry pie? Like seriously. But what can I expect, they’re goblins and they’re in the house. Ugh. And honestly they’re just plain gross.

I pick my friend.
I pick nose.
Just whose nose, do you suppose?

Get away from me you obnoxious, vile creatures! I can pick my own nose on my own time, thank you. Ugh. Oh, great, now they’re tearing up the living room.

We be goblins.
We be green.
We be making quite a scene!

No, not the sofa! Now there are little bits of fabric and stuffing flying everywhere. I can see you’re all too pleased with yourselves. Nasty critters. Ugh. Why can’t you just leave?

Advertisement

I do mischief.
I do bad.
This best party ever had!

I did NOT agree to host your little shindig. Stop tearing up my house! All I know is, it’s about time you moved on to wreak havoc elsewhere. Ugh. Just get out – NOW!

We scare the cat.
We scare you.
We scare all, we care not who!

I may have brought these dreadful disgusting demons into being seeing as how I painted them, but I have no idea what brought them to life or why. What kind of cosmic miscalculation caused this? I need to know so I can avoid it in the future. Ugh. Goblins… need I say more?

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Original Creations

Faux Fingernails Art by Jennifer Weigel

Published

on

So I had some faux fingernails leftover from a costume based modeling session, from posing as Cruella De Vil for the figure drawing group… Here’s a teaser from that modeling session, before the horrible creepy art generation in the aftermath. If you zoom in tight enough, you can see my tiger fingernails, which kept trying to fall off constantly, reminding me why I hate trying to wear the things and why they (d)evolved into art.

Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing
Cruella De Vil modeling for figure drawing

My version of Cruella De Vil channels Glenn Close or the original animated character more than the recent Emma Stone variant, but they’re all delightfully devilish.

Anyway, I made this series of “Tiger Sharks” prominently featuring the same tiger faux fingernails, including those used in the Cruella De Vil costume. These “Tiger Sharks” also incorporated some pirate fingernails, because sharks and pirates are tight.

Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails
Pirate skeleton hand with faux fingernails

I couldn’t think of a better use for the pirate fingernails than adding them to this skeletal hand. I never actually wore these, they were too hard to come up with something to go with. But I do love the Beetlejuice vibe with the stripes…

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.

Feel free to check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s work here on Haunted MTL or on her writing, fine art, and conceptual projects websites.

Continue Reading

Original Series

Nightmarish Nature: Something Rotten, Flesh in Flowers

Published

on

This time on Nightmarish Nature we will again explore some of the more fetid fungi and plants, this time focusing on those that imitate rotten flesh in order to attract flies. Among the best known of these are the Stinkhorn and the Corpse Lily or Corpse Flower. The Language of Flowers be damned, literally…

Fungi

Many of the fungi in the Stinkhorn family erupt in mushrooms that reek of rotten flesh and sprout from a white sort of egg sac in various forms, the common type being a phallus like structure with a white body and olive head. The Beefsteak fungus resembles, well, a cut of beef oozing blood. And some mushroom bodies of the Clathrus genus bloom in elaborate lattice structures or devil’s tooth and devil’s fingers that resemble terrifying alien beings. These odoriferous fetid fungi grow in decaying wood material and use their stinky attributes to attract flies and other insects which will then spread the spores from their fruiting bodies. They truly look like something out of an outer space or aquatic nightmare.

Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh, drawing by Jennifer Weigel.
Some various fungi that can reek of rotten flesh.

Plants

Some plants also utilize pungent putrid odors to attract flies and other insects, in part to aid in the pollination and dissemination but also to attract insect matter for their own needs, to absorb the insects for valuable nutrients that they cannot otherwise obtain. The largest flowers in the world bear many of these characteristics, also being among the stinkiest. And some pitcher plants mimic rotten flesh to attract flies upon which they “feed”.

The Titan Arum of Sumatra and Indonesia is a plant that over time produces a huge flower somewhat resembling a calla lily but larger as the plant body stores enough energy to do so. While Calla Lilies are often used to symbolize rebirth and resurrection and can be associated with death, often in a funerary setting, the huge Titan Arum does more than that, strongly mimicking decaying flesh in order to attract flies. These flowers can grow to almost 8-feet tall and bloom for only about three days before wilting; they are a huge draw at botanic gardens when flowering because of the rare nature of the event and the remarkable presence that the flower has, in both size and smell. The US. Botanic Gardens has a page devoted to this plant here, where you can even track previous blooms.

Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Titan Arum flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

Another noteworthy flowering plant is Rafflesia, a parasitic flower native to Indonesia and Malaysia that feeds on the liana vine and grows from a sprouting body bud into a huge flower over the course of five years. Its flowers, once finally formed, can grow to almost a meter across and resembles something out of a horror film. These too smell of death and decay to attract flies in order to cross-pollinate. You can learn more about these unusual plants on this video from Real Science here.

Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.
Rafflesia flower as drawn by Jennifer Weigel.

If you’ve enjoyed this segment of Nightmarish Nature, feel free to check out some previous here:

Vampires Among Us

Advertisement

Perilous Parenting

Freaky Fungus

Worrisome Wasps

Cannibalism

Terrifying Tardigrades

Advertisement

Reindeer Give Pause

Komodo Dragons

Zombie Snails

Horrifying Humans

Giants Among Spiders

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Trending